‘Reed Dance Bus Tragedy Devastates A Nation’

by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party and
Traditional Prime Minister of the Zulu Monarch and Nation

02 September 2013    


The tragic bus accident that claimed 10 lives, as young maidens returned from the annual Zulu Royal Reed Dance ceremony at the King's Palace in Nongoma this weekend, has left the King and our nation devastated. Our sympathy is with the families who have not only lost loved ones, but have been robbed of all the years ahead with their children.


As the traditional Prime Minister to the Zulu Nation, and to His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini, I attended the Royal Reed Dance ceremony on Saturday. I honoured the more than 30 000 young maidens who presented a reed to our King, symbolising their commitment to purity. Their joy and pride was unmistakable.


Thus, when I received a call yesterday evening informing me of the accident, I left the wedding I was attending in Durban and travelled back to Enyokeni Palace to give my support to the King. He was inconsolable. We spent hours trying to come to terms with this unspeakable loss for our nation and for these families.


The King asked me to convey his deepest condolences to the families of the injured and the deceased.


As the President of the IFP, I was further distressed to learn that three of the victims of this accident were women leaders of the IFP, two of whom had been tasked with accompanying the young maidens from Umzumbe. As the families are still travelling to the mortuary, their names will not yet be released.


On behalf of my Party and in my capacity as traditional Prime Minister, I offer support and condolences to the families and friends of all those who so tragically lost their lives.


Our thoughts are with the young maidens, and with our faithful women who died while travelling as their companions and guardians. We think also of the bus driver, who lost his life, and of the many who were injured in this accident.


May their recovery, both physical and emotional, be swift and complete.